#photography & visual arts
The presitigious Helsinki Art Museum presents Althamer’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic region, showcasing the internationally-acclaimed Polish artist's diverse and surprising work from the last three decades along with a specially-created new collaborative artwork.
The title of Paweł Althamer’s exhibition I (am) epitomises the core questions of his art: Who am I? Who are we together? Collaboration is a key component of Althamer’s artistic practice. He regularly involves his family, neighbours, museum visitors, as well as disadvantaged citizens in the creation of his works. These collaborations result in sculptures – totems as Althamer calls them – that are traces of this process. The important thing for Althamer is not the end result but sharing the creative game with the audience.
This exhibition introduces visitors to HAM to Althamer’s extensive array of self-portraits, sculptures, installations, performance documentations as well as miniature worlds. The show also includes a slide, originally created in collaboration with children, which younger visitors can use.
Althamer is also creating a new work for HAM in which he further develops his method of creative play with open outcomes. One of the two large second-floor galleries will be converted into a white space where Althamer invites the audience to enter silently, dressed in white, and without their mobile phones. Althamer has likened his new work to the sauna and its purifying effect on mind and body. The white space is designed to purify the senses and the mind of the ever-present flood of external stimuli.
The exhibition includes an outreach project in the district of Jakomäki, where HAM has actively engaged with the local community for many years. Althamer will conduct workshops with young people and school students that will nourish their creativity. The link between HAM and Jakomäki will be a golden bus, an artwork by Althamer, which will go on journeys to ‘nowhere’ during the exhibition.
An exhibition book produced by HAM that showcases Althamer’s art and practice will be released in May. The exhibition also includes an extensive events programme.
Helsinki Art Museum
Polish visual artist
The exhibition is co-organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Helsinki Art Museum and the Embassy of Poland in Helsinki.
Source: press materials; compiled by SC, AJ & AZ, Mar 2019